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The Built Environment Professions must act to reduce carbon emissions by design

Posted: 20th July 2008

Climate change topped the agenda of a recent private conference organised by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) for 45 Presidents, Chairmen, CEOs and Senior Staff from professional institutions and the professional bodies in the built environment.
All agreed that ‘trying harder’ or ‘doing a bit better’ is no longer the objective in mitigating climate change; it must now be about doing the design process differently and spreading this change quickly through the international professional networks.

Speaking to the conference, Keith Clarke, Chief Executive of Atkins, and Chairman of CIC said, “Only the design professions and the product manufacturers can really make a difference to the built environments contribution to climate change; they have the ability to do so much more than any government to really change things”.
Collaboration and the sharing of expertise and knowledge amongst built environment professions is seen as a crucial first step to tackling climate change. A key target for bringing together the opportunities and catalysts for the change that is capable from the professions will be The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009.

The Rt. Hon. Nick Raynsford MP, Deputy Chairman of CIC said, “Our discussions were lively and highly productive. Above all they demonstrated the huge scope for the UK professional institutions to exercise a profound influence globally, on what is unquestionably the biggest challenge of our time.”
Sunand Prasad, President of RIBA said, “We, are optimistic about making a difference, and recognise that we, as professional institutions, need to lead the way collectively and not wait to be incentivised or regulated by others before taking action.”

Each institution will be developing its own position statement on climate change as a result of the conference and will share tools, products, research, guidance, education and CPD materials with other members.

During the next two months CIC will be interviewing each member institution to evaluate the extent of materials already available in response to climate change and will find the best way of sharing this knowledge and expertise to the wider industry.